There are many people today gradually gearing towards the minimalist life and in simple terms, this is a kind of life where you value yourself more than material things. With this mindset, you tend to make decisions based on what you need rather than what you want. Now, this doesn’t necessarily mean this kind of life is cheap or that it must be bland. You can live a minimal life and still rock it excellently.
As this lifestyle is gradually winning over many hearts lately, we will like to explore what it’s like in a work setting. Most people today spend an average of 8 hours daily working on their desks and to yield effective results, the desk setup plays a huge role. There is a recent review on the science of minimalism that talks about the psychological impact of this lifestyle and how simplicity is chosen over consumerism.
A 2018 study also shows how minimalist life orientations can be a dialogical tool for happiness, which further debunks the idea of owning too many possessions with the hope of being happy. Several studies have connected the happiness of employees to how productive they are at work. One of such is this study from the Social Market Foundation that found that happy employees are up to 20% more productive than unhappy employees. Happiness at the workplace has also been found to raise sales by 37 percent, among many other benefits.
Every organization or entrepreneur desires to see improved productivity at all times and several things contribute to that. For minimal desk setups, there is a higher chance of productivity.
Benefits of a Minimalist Desk Setup
What makes a minimalist desk setup different from the average desk setup? There are many reasons to go for minimal desk ideas, some of which we have highlighted below:
1. Little to no clutter
Creating a clean and minimal desk setup helps you to get rid of clutter, as you don’t have to own too many things to set up an ideal workspace. Decluttering your workspace will naturally make you more productive, and this is one aspect many workers today are trying to navigate and make a part of their lives, due to how much it can impact how they work. With a minimalist setup, you have little or nothing to worry about that. On a normal day, you don’t have unnecessary items lying aimlessly around, so you end up in a clutter-free space most of the time and get the job done.
2. It Allows You to Refocus
As a minimalist, you gradually make a mind shift from stocking up on materials to focusing only on the most important things. Your attention is likely to be divided when you have too many things going on around you or calling for your attention. However, as a minimalist, your focus is meant to be streamlined to a few things that are necessary for your work. With full attention to your work and fewer distractions, you will spend less time working and still get effective results.
3. It Helps You Save More
With fewer items purchased, you get to save more. This will be great for your budget, as you only get to choose a few necessary items that will aid your work and leave out the rest that you find unnecessary. Although this doesn’t always mean you will spend less but in most cases, you will find out that you get to direct your finances to the most important things and invest in quality.
4. It Improves Your Energy
There is an increased surge of energy that comes from less clutter. Research from 2011 shows how people tend to value money more than they value people, which can lead to conflict between work and family. With a minimalist mindset, it is the other way round, which indirectly makes you healthier and stronger towards things that matter.
5. It Makes You More Productive
The core goal of all these benefits is to help you to be more productive at whatever your focus is on. It doesn’t just help you cut down material items but also frees up some of your time, which will unfailingly give you more time to focus on yourself and your health and to stay more productive. Less mess in your space improves your creative mindset and helps you to think up better ways to get the work done efficiently.
What a Minimalist Desk Setup Should Entail
Creating a Minimalist Desk Setup doesn’t have to be boring and unmotivating. You can be a minimalist and still have a great eye-catchy desk with all the necessary items needed for your work. Some of the things to look out for while creating one include:
1. Keyboard and Mouse
Virtually every desk setup needs this, even with a minimal laptop desk setup. However, there are several options out there today that fit perfectly into the minimalist lifestyle. You can get the cordless keyboard or mouse, to keep your desk free from the disturbing cords. Or you could set up a cable management system to organize and manage your cords and wires properly.
2. Desk Organizer Set
This is great to help you keep all your items together in one place, rather than have them disorganized, which could disrupt your workflow. Nothing is more frustrating than having to constantly strain your muscles to reach for a document or a writing material that seems to be far from you and disorganized. This will not only hurt your muscles but will also get you cranky and affect your productivity.
Get a desk organizer set that can function as a copyholder for your documents, pen holder, letter tray, hanging file organizer, and sticky note holder. Keep this set close to you on your desk to keep you organized while improving your workflow.
3. Planners and Organizers
A further step to take to keep your work organized is to have planners in place, and this can be in the form of a digital tool such as your to-do or notes app or paper form. Writing down a plan goes a long way in achieving them at the set time and most people would argue that papers work best for this. But at the end of the day, choose what works for you and makes you productive.
If you would opt for the traditional pen and paper, then you should use an aesthetically pleasing hard-cover book or colorful stick-on notes. This will not only help you maintain an appealing work desk but also help boost your creativity and move you closer to achieving your goals.
4. Minimalist Wall Calendar
A calendar will never get old and although digital calendars seem to be perfect in this day and age, a wall calendar is still as useful. This could work as a form of decoration, especially if you’re not looking to have something excessive. Preferably, get a neutral colored calendar with bold letters and numbers to help you easily plan and track your day to be productive.
5. Text Wall Arts
Rather than going the conventional way of designing your workspace with several forms of arts and designs, you can opt for text wall arts instead. This is simple and plain and gets the message passed across easily, especially with written bold texts. It also gives you the liberty to choose what you want to be written on your wall and to make the most of this, you can write simple and short inspirational quotes to keep you going.
As much as writing down your thoughts and plans might prove effective, especially with paper and pen, it creates more clutter for you. You can reduce the possibility of this happening by having a whiteboard where you can write down some important and urgent things and also make quick plans that can be wiped off later. It is also great for someone who is environmentally conscious and would not like to use too many papers.
7. Silent Wall Clock
A wall clock helps you to keep track of time and you can easily do away with your phone when you have it, as your phone could be a huge distraction to your work progress. However, while choosing a wall clock, it’s best to opt for a silent one to avoid getting distracted from the tick sounds and also to maintain keeping things in your workspace as simple as you can.
8. Storage on Wheels
Your desk doesn’t have to take all your important documents. Remember you have to keep it free of clutter as much as you can. One of the best ways to do this is to have a storage with multiple drawers close to your desk where you can store other essential items. These drawers will help you keep your projects, tools, and supplies at your fingertips, yet out of your sight.
Get a Universal Laptop Docking Station
Universal laptop docking stations are a great way to get your laptop to do more. With this, you don’t necessarily have to get a desktop PC, as you can turn your laptop into a feature-packed desktop replacement while saving more space on your desk. With a single cable attached to your laptop, you can support all kinds of display outputs, audio, ethernet LAN ports, and other USB peripherals. This especially comes in handy for laptops with limited ports such as Macbooks.
One of the benefits of owning this, especially as a minimalist, is the minimal setup times. You don’t have to spend extra time trying to look for a USB that is compatible or download your file from your email before you can make a presentation.
It extends your capabilities and helps you to do so much within a shorter time frame, compared to not having it. It is also a perfect item to have for anyone who works from home and may have to visit different places at a time. With this universal docking station, they can worry less about getting delayed while trying to look for a compatible cable.
Extra Tips to Keep your Minimal Desk Setup in Check
1. Stay organized
As much as you can, try to keep your desk organized. We already established earlier how getting a desk organizer set can prove effective. Being organized will help reduce your stress level, ensure you meet deadlines, and help you to consistently be on time. Do whatever it takes to stay organized, even if you have to use file boxes, trays, or folders to keep stuff together.
2. Dispose immediately
Make it a habit to get rid of certain things immediately, rather than keeping them around with the faux hope of using them again. Toss that paper away or recycle it for something else. Throw that empty pen away or once you realize the ink is dried, rather than keeping multiple pens together that you may never use. By disposing of items immediately, you tend to reduce clutter.
3. Get rid of small distracting items
While it might be great to have stick-on notes or little pictures and toys decorated on your desk, it could also be distracting and won’t let you get the maximum benefits of a minimalist workspace. Get rid of those little items and keep them elsewhere, preferably together in one space, rather than having them everywhere. Make use of drawers or wall shelves instead.
Minimalist should not mean boring, neither should it mean frustration. You can choose to create your ideal minimalist desk setup and still have fun while at it. Everyone aims to make the most of their time while seated by their desk, staring at the computer all day. As a minimalist, you can maximize what you have to get a great, and even better result, from your workspace.
The tips shared here works in any setting, regardless of the niche you belong to. It could also work in both corporate and work from home settings. Tailor the ideas to suit your kind of work and take a step further towards achieving your goals.